“Huh. How did Li Shenxiao enter then? He spent fifty years overcoming his Lifesbane,” Tianming asked.
“Supposedly, it’s because overcoming it allowed him to become young again, thus circumventing the restriction,” Bai Mo said.
“Then can my godfather enter?” Tianming was surprised.
“Unfortunately, no. I’ve checked. His Lifesbane is different from the traditional one. His Lifesbane never burnt away at his lifespan, so all of its effects were on his cultivation and not his age. Now, his body is over forty years old,” Bai Mo explained.
Tianming had indeed noticed that Li Wudi hadn’t become younger.
He made some quick calculations. He himself should be roughly thirty by now. Fortunately, he had a sensation of being rejuvenated when he became an earth saint, so he felt much younger. As for his looks, he looked seventeen or eighteen. Taken altogether, he shouldn’t be past thirty yet, hopefully.
“Why in the world would this god insist only people under thirty can enter?” Tianming didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
“That’s a little complicated. It’s because, for sky and empyrean saints, under thirty is considered to be the age where you have the most talent and the fastest progress. Once you pass it, you’ll slow down. And once you’re a hundred… that’s basically your peak. Then, when you hit a hundred and fifty, you’ll start deteriorating from age. While sky saints have an age limit of three hundred, you won’t really be all there anymore when you hit about two hundred and fifty.” Bai Mo smiled helplessly. No one could escape fate, and everyone would perish one day.
“Tianming, many people mistakenly believe that even if an expert dies from old age, they’ll still be powerful before death. That’s wrong, because aging is a slow process. Your cultivation will regress as all of your saint ki is slowly returned to the world. Your flesh will fail and eventually return to the earth.After a hundred years of that, you die. It’s sheer nonsense to expect an old man to still be able to have a big fight. For us humans, we spend the first half of our life taking from heaven and earth, and the latter half returning it.” Bai Mo shook his head.
Tianming understood what he meant. If you didn’t die in battle, you would pass from age with white hair, wrinkles, a hunched back…. It wouldn’t matter what kind of expert you had once been.
Tianming and his lustrous white hair full of health was the exception, not the rule.
Bai Mo was now about a hundred years old. He looked to be in his forties—even younger than Wei Tiancang, who was in his sixties. He would probably look Wei Tiancang’s age when he hit a hundred and fifty. In fact, Bai Mo had already reached a point where his cultivation could no longer progress!
That was why, while the Sky Saint stage gave you three hundred years, only the first hundred were truly comfortable.
Autarch Qian having children when he was three hundred was because he was equivalent to an ordinary person in their fifties. Another few years, and he would probably have been incapable.
The laws of the world were merciless. The path to eternity was painful, and all experts would have to see their bodies slowly waste away as their strength left them. Even the Primeval Autarch was no exception!
“That means Autarch Qian didn’t die of old age. As an empyrean saint, he’d just passed his peak period. He definitely had at least a hundred years left in him. Right now, he’s considered as suffering a premature death. But who knows what the cause was. Maybe he commited suicide from fear of death. Theocrats often do that, unwilling to endure their fall from grace.” Bai Mo gave a mocking laugh.
In his view, youths like Tianming wouldn’t understand. However, in truth, Tianming did indeed get it. He had just seized five years of life, after all. If he hadn’t succeeded, he would have been resigned to watching his beast ki fade away.
“Hall King, can I enter the tomb?” Tianming asked.
“That’ll depend on your performance at the feast. Only the best can go in, and they’ll usually be at least twenty-six. Only special cases like Dongyang Fengchen, with his nine-headed hydra, can enter at twenty-two.”
“Don’t the Theocrats control the second Divine Capital? Why would they let us go in?” Tianming asked.
“That’s because the Theocrats, and other powers of the capital, have already mixed into the dao palace. There was too much internal conflict when all of the Theocrats trained at the royal palace together. So, they purposely shifted all of the ones with the surname Jiang to us, in order to take our resources. Quite a few of them who joined us were quite strong, so the Theocrats gave them some slots, and the dao palace got some by association. But basically, it goes to them anyway.”
“The slots are determined by battle. It’s been that way for tens of thousands of years, so it’s pretty fair. However, the tomb has opened so many times that there aren’t really any treasures left, just some small toys.”
“I see.” Tianming nodded.
“I’ll go and ask the palace lord about her opinion. It’ll be difficult for you, as your opponents have a few years on you, so go train first. Right, and go get your empyrean manana.”
“Understood!” Tianming nodded. There wasn’t much to be concerned about, if the tomb was already cleared out.
For the crown prince to invite him to the feast, the situation couldn’t be so simple. There was definitely a trap somewhere. He didn’t believe the crown prince would be one of the good people in the Theocracy who would overlook his provocations.
However, he was still surprised. “That guy has a nine-headed hydra?” Such people, historically, were all capable of becoming Primeval Autarches. It was the reason Autarch Yun had immediately named him the crown prince.
“It seems that, in terms of talent, Dongyang Zhuo must have been quite a bit poorer than this crown prince. At thirty, he’s already past the period of fastest progress. I wonder what stage he’s at now?” Tianming was curious. If there had been someone of the crown prince’s talent in his age group, he probably wouldn’t have become the strongest in his age group.
“Whatever, I’ll go get the empyrean manna first!” Tianming split up from his companions and proceeded to the Dark Hall alone.
It was his first time in the Dark Hall’s area, but the guards all knew him.
“Not bad, kiddo!” The uncles at the gate directly picked him up and tossed him in, giving him a very warm welcome.
“Do you know the way to the Sacred Dao Palace?”
“Look up, you see that mountain?”
“Right there on the peak, it is. Right, Li Tianming, remember to let us have a peek once you get an empyrean saint beast, as thanks for us saving you today!”
“No problem!” Tianming had a good opinion of the Dark Hall, as they all valued loyalty.
Of course, it wasn’t that people of the Decimo Dao Palace were good, while the Ancient Theocrats were bad. However, birds of a feather flock together.
“Gods, it’s a celebrity! Come and give me your autograph!”
“Wow, your skin is so white! Let uncle rub it a little for good luck.”
“Get lost, don’t bully him! Big sister has your back!”
“Tianming, you’re going to see the palace lord? Help big brother here and report the fatty next door to me. His lifebound beast keeps shitting at my door, so please relocate him.”
Tianming was speechless. However, he still made many friends en route.
“Tianming, when you said, ‘Nineshades Clan’, man, that got my heart pumping!”
Clearly, Tianming’s performance had made them like him a lot.
After a while, he finally made it past all the big brothers and sisters of the Dark Hall and reached the Scared Dao Palace. The palace had a refined, yet simple architecture. It was primarily black and white, and looked like an ink painting in the dense mist of spiritual energy.
It had a simple wooden gate, but Tianming saw many heavenly patterns, mysterious and profound, freely swimming on the walls in the shape of a black and white diagram.
“Tianming, come in,” a voice drifted out.
“The palace lord is female.” Tianming was briefly surprised. The voice was relaxing. It wasn’t too young or too old, and sounded about Wei Jing’s age before she had overcome her Lifesbane.
“Disciple Li Tianming greets the Palace Lord.” Tianming gave the wooden door a light push and entered.Previous Chapter Next Chapter